July 19, 2009

Friday Jakarta Blasts - Two sides of a story

I first knew about the Friday bombings while on my way to work. A colleague texted me that she was going to be a bit late because bombs had exploded in JW Marriott & Ritz Carlton. My office is not close to these hotels but they're visible from our 17th floor office window.

I thought there might be panic & traffic jam, which made her text me to tell me she would be late. But luckily enough, I had no trouble getting to work. The streets were quite normal. Later on, she told me she was late because she wanted to watch the news on tv, not because of any traffic jam.

The rest of the day was quite hectic, but it had nothing to do with the bombings. Currently we have many projects going on, especially product testing which need to finish before the Ramadhan (fasting period) begins.

Occasionally someone checked the internet and told us the latest news about the bombings, which stirred some conversation before we were busy in front of our computers again. Specifically when we heard MU had canceled their trip to Indonesia due to the bombings, a colleague shouted out: "Oh no...I've bought tickets!"

A rumour had also spread that certain political parties may be behind the bombings because they were not satisfied with the presidential elections held on July 8th. These rumours came about after SBY (our current president who, based on quickcount, seems to have won the election and will lead another period) made a statement about the bombings while showing his picture had been used as target practice. When I heard this, I thought: Isn't it normal for a president to receive some kind of death threats? Oh well, what do I know...I've probably watched too many episodes of 24.

After work, many hesitated to go hang out at the mall. I thought it would be better to go straight home too, although the next day I had to go to check a mall intercept study.

At home, finally, I could watch the news to get the details on the blasts. Hmm..quite strange, while the local tv channels were busy focusing on political conspiracy and SBY's statement, the international channels were mentioning about Jemaah Islamiyah (a group lead by the Malaysian fugitive, Noordin M. Top) being behind the attacks.

Just as my day had been quite normal while others were heavily affected by the bombings, watching the local and international channels made me feel like I was looking at different worlds.

Well, I guess there are 2 sides of each story... Hopefully those behind the bombings are captured and such tragic events will never ever happen in Indonesia again...

July 5, 2009

Bird Park in TMII

I had wanted to go to Taman Mini's Bird Park for quite some time, so when my cousins came to Jakarta, I gladly suggested that we went there.

Because of Indonesia's geographical position, it has a unique blend of fauna. Western Indonesia's fauna is related to Asiatic species while Eastern Indonesia is more influenced by Australasian. The Wallace line separates these two regions.

The bird park in Taman Mini is arranged by this concept. There are two main domes in the park : the West dome (where you can see birds from Sumatera, Java, Bali and Kalimantan) and the East dome (where there are birds from Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua). Between the two domes, there is a small pond which serves as the imaginary Wallace line.

Left : Say Cheese...actually I'm shivering inside, hoping the kakatua doesn't bite me!

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